The Woodland Hills Kaiser Permanente hospital earned a "Top Hospital" rating in a nationwide survey released by the Leapfrog Group.
The honor recognizes medicala centers for outstanding success in areas of quality and patient safety. The survey takes into account such things as the use of electronic health records to reduce medication and other errors, high-risk surgical procedures performance, low infection rates, and appropriate physician and nursing staffing.
Seven other Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Southern California also achieved the rating. In all, just 92 hospitals of the 1,200 survey around the country were named Top Hospitals.
"This honor recognizes the hard work of our physicians and staff to enhance care delivery and improve the health of our members and the communities we serve,” said Edward M. Ellison, MD, executive medical director for the Southern California Permanente Medical Group.
While the executive director and CEO of The Permanente Medical Group, Dr. Robert Pearl, called the Leapfrog survey "the gold standard for hospital quality," others in the greater Los Angeles area disagree.
UCLA Medical Center officials are disputing the center's failing Leapfrog grade and claim results are easily and unfairly skewed.
"It is not a fair scoring system and it does a disservice to the public," Tom Rosenthal, chief medical officer at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, told the Los Angeles Times.
The Leapfrog Group is a coalition of public and private purchasers of employee health coverage founded a decade ago to work for improvements in health care safety, quality and affordability. It is an independent advocacy group working with a broad range of partners, including hospitals and insurers. The annual survey is the only voluntary effort of its kind.
The 2012 list of Top Hospitals includes university and other teaching hospitals, children’s hospitals and community hospitals in rural, suburban and urban settings. The selection is based on the results of the Leapfrog Group’s annual hospital survey, which measures hospitals’ performance on patient safety and quality, focusing on three critical areas of hospital care: how patients fare, resource use, and management structures in place to prevent errors. The results of the survey are posted on the Leapfrog website, which is open to patients and families, the public, employers, and other purchasers of health care.
The other Southern California Kaiser Permanente hospitals receiving the "Top Hospital" designation are Fontana, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, South Bay and West Los Angeles.